Boats Not to Miss

So many boats, so little time. Even if you went to all four days of the powerboat show and all five days of the sailboat show, you still wouldn’t be able to see everything. You can start strategizing your show experience with the official programs that you can find on, or you can get a head start by browsing just a few of the stellar boats that will be on display at the shows (or their dealerships), from the new Adventure 218 by Grady-White to ZAR Inflatables Mini-Lux Rider 15 to the Excess 15 cruising catamaran.

Boston Whaler 360 Outrage

Whaler’s largest Outrage yet, with an overall length of more than 36’ and a generous 11’3” beam, gives it room for a flexible, workable cockpit, a redesigned bow area for lounging and fishing, and an overnight-able cabin with a double V-berth and an electric head with a vanity and sink, not to mention an optional flybridge.

There are three Mercury power options: triple 300-hp outboards, triple 450s or twin V-12 600s. Joystick Piloting comes standard, along with Mercury’s DockSense docking assist system. Triple Mercury 400 hp Verados can propel the boat over 60 mph at 6800 rpm. The 23-degree deep-vee hull cuts through the chop and the flared hull keeps spray away. The hull is built with Boston Whaler’s foam-encapsulated unsinkability.

Avid anglers will appreciate the 55-gallon pressurized transom live well, port and starboard fishboxes, four bow rod holders, six cockpit rod holders, four across the transom and five on the T-top. The backs of the seats aft of the helm station fold down to form a table or rigging station. Boarding is easy via a transom door and a port-side dive door with a removable ladder. Split seating in the bow allows improved access for chasing fish and the anchor locker is situated at waist level for ease of anchoring.

Advanced e-Fathom technology relies upon lithium batteries and inverters for power, so there’s no need for a noisy generator. Digital switching technology allows remote control of key systems.

Available from Chesapeake Whalertowne and Chesapeake Boat Basin.

Excess 15 Catamaran

It’s been said that anything worth doing is worth doing to excess, and the Bénéteau Group has put that maxim to work with maximum effect in the new Excess 15. With an overall length longer than 48’ and a beam of a notch over 26’ and an 82’ high mast, the Excess 15 is the largest in the new family.

These dimensions provide for an expansive raised saloon/dining area with a 360° view shed through large, clear windows that also allow the skipper to see the bows from either of the two helm stations at the aft of each hull. The hulls can be configured with three, four or even six double cabins. The generous beam yields a cockpit big enough for a table that can graciously sit eight guests. The cockpit is shaded by a retractable sunroof that can be opened for a clear view of the sails.

The reviewers in the boating media have all written about how well the Excess 15 sails with its sporty rig that provides 1,657 sq. ft. of upwind sail area. The optional Pulse line rig offers more than 10% of sail area/displacement ratio. The consensus is that the Excess 15 combines high performance with the comfort of a large cruising catamaran.

Available from Crusader Yacht Sales.

Grady-White Adventure 218

This newly reimagined version of the original walkaround cabin design from 1974 will appeal to both the devoted angler as well as families that pursue any variety of water sports. Powered by a single 250 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard, the boat has a top speed of 45.3 mph at 5900 rpm. Optimal cruising speed is 29.7 mph at 4000 rpm with a burn rate of 10.8 gph. A 200 hp Yamaha is an option.  

The 218’s generous beam provides room for a workable cockpit as well as an accommodating cabin with a V-berth and a portable toilet. Two side windows and a forward hatch keep cabin air fresh. Above deck, optional foredeck cushions cover the flush mounted hatch. The aft jump seats have Grady-White’s patented reversible self-stowing cushions with non-skid safety treads and seat backs that pivot to provide more room for the angler to fight fish as well as easy access to the swim platforms for watersports. The curved windshield and hardtop protect the helm deck. There are cushioned fish boxes behind the helm seats.

Anglers will appreciate all the well-placed, abundant storage space in the cockpit and cabin plus storage for 10 rods. Removable drop-in boxes below the aft seats provide easy access to the bilge and batteries. Two insulated fish boxes, 120-quart at starboard and 126-quart at port, provide plenty of room for the day’s catch.

Available from Tri-State Marine and Taylor Marine.

Ocean Sport 30 Roamer

Nordic Tugs took over the Ocean Sport 30 and converted this performance workboat from twin Diesel stern drives to twin outboards, substantially beefing up the hull structure in the stern and adding a sturdy transom platform to accommodate the motors. As a result, the newly reconfigured Ocean Sport 30 Roamer can achieve a max speed of 49.4 mph powered by two 350 hp Mercury Verados. The preferred cruising speed of “just” 33 mph at 4500 rpm yields a range of 433 statute miles, burning 1.2 mpg from the two 200 gal. fuel tanks.

The key feature is the broad, open cockpit providing up to 64 sq. ft. of work room. There are toe rails and padded bolsters all around, 8 rocket launchers, a 30-gal. live well mounted on the stern, a transom door, and self-draining, removable fish boxes mounted under the deck. A handy helm station set in the forward starboard corner features engine controls, joystick and bow thruster controls.

Inside the pilothouse, there are windows all around, including four opening side windows and a three-pane windshield that angles forward to reduce glare. It’s further shaded by the hardtop that extends forward to form a cowling. There’s a dinette that converts to a double berth, a galley station and a helm station to starboard. Accommodations include a forward cabin with a V-berth and enclosed head and a spacious quarter berth tucked under the dinette.

Available from Seattle Yachts.

Solara S-310 Center Walkaround

Solara is the new brand of boats from the manufacturer Fluid Motion, the builder of Ranger Tugs and Cutwater Boats. Built in the USA, this 31-foot trailerable performance cruiser is designed for fishing, entertaining and overnighting in equal style. Powered by twin Yamaha F250 hp outboards, the S- 310 CW features an advanced double stepped hull with uniquely designed Laminar Flow Interrupters that provide exceptional cornering ability. The deep V bow section with its tapered flare provides a steady, dry ride in rough seas.

Fishable features in the cockpit include 6 rod holders topping the gunwale, 8 rocket launchers, a built-in fish box under the deck and additional storage in the lazarette. Standard features at the helm include a bolstered pilot’s seat with tilt steering wheel, electronic throttle controls, autopilot and dual Garmin 8612 chartplotters with a fully customizable display.

The walkaround leads to a spacious open bow where there’s seating for six guests. A unique utility console mounted in the bow houses a fully recessed anchor, line storage and a bow ladder that folds out when beached. The cabin below features air conditioning and reverse cycle heating, a spacious V-berth that converts to lounge seating and an enclosed head with an electric flush toilet and shower.

Available from Pocket Yacht Company.

Tiara 43 LS

The “LS” is short for Luxury Sport, and this, the third in Tiara Yachts’ four-boat LS lineup, is long on both. There are three distinct and distinctly glamorous areas on deck where guests can relax and socialize, plus an accommodating cabin below that sleeps four. Powered by twin Mercury 600 hp Verado V12 7.6L outboards, the LS can surge from zero to 30 mph in 10 seconds flat. Its optimal cruising speed is 43.9 mph at 5000 rpm, burning .72 mpg. With the 400-gal. fuel capacity, at that rate, the boat would have a range of 253 statute miles. Max-out speed at 6055 rpm is an impressive 54.2 mph.

The bow features wrap-around seating and a reclining three-across lounge with flip up arm rests as well as flip-up footrests. The helm deck, covered by a broad hard top and protected by an impressive compound curved windshield, seats four comfortably. The helm features a glass dash, digital controls and joy stick. Just behind the helm seats, there’s standing room and a leaning bolster athwart a galley with an expansive countertop, electric grill, sink and two refrigerated drawers. At the transom, an innovative U-shaped lounge rotates 180 degrees to face forward or aft, all shaded by a retractable awning.

Available from North Point Yacht Sales.

Valhalla 41

The Valhalla line of high-performance fishing boats is a new subsidiary of the venerable Viking Yacht Co. The V-41 can be built for a wide variety of power options, from triple Yamaha 425 hp outboards to four 400 hp Mercury Verados. Each application can be configured for joystick helm control with GPS station-keeping technology. Powered by the four 400 hp Verados, the top speed has clocked in at 73 mph at 6,850 rpm. It can reach 30 mph in just 7.0 seconds. Its best burn rate is .98 mpg, running 45 mph at 4,200 rpm. One of the V-41’s many admiring reviewers notes that the double-stepped hull with the tunnel on centerline creates two vertical walls or strakes that helps it stick to the water without sliding in turns.

The transom holds a 90-gallon live well. The decks are filled with insulated fish boxes, and rod holders can be installed virtually anywhere. A raised live well can be integrated into the forward lounge for quick access while fishing from the bow. A Seakeeper 3 gyrostabilizer fits neatly beneath the cockpit sole.

Viking can install an optional gap tower with a custom hardtop and an upper helm station.

There’s an aft mezzanine seating module complete with armrests and an insulated cooler or optional live well under the seat. Forward, there’s seating with backrests, an anchor windlass and a port-side dive door.

Available from Bluewater Yacht Sales.

ZAR Inflatables – Mini-Lux Rider 15

ZAR’s mini LUX Rider 15 aluminum-hulled RIB comes equipped with a bow locker, engine well and a flat double flooring. The hull and cockpit are self-draining. Standard equipment includes a Teak design EVA floor, bow cushion, bow backrest, bow step plate, keel guard, Bimini holder, backrest, luxury steering console and a reinforced hull.

Powered by a 50 to 70 hp outboard, the Rider 15 can easily pull water toys, waterski and tow tubes with the two installed D-rings on the transom, but an optional towing mast can be installed behind the backrest for wakeboarding. There are two davit lifting points in the bow and two on the transom, making it a good choice as a yacht tender. There’s a bench seat for two at the helm, another seat forward of the console, and a padded area in the bow for lounging and sunbathing.

The very light aluminum hull allows it to go fast and plane easily with a smaller engine. It’s powder coated to resist corrosion and saltwater. The tube chamber is constructed of a 5-layer reinforced high quality 1.100 dtex PVC material with a weight of 1.050g/m2 and a thickness of 0.9mm. All PVC seams are welded. An overpressure valve comes as standard equipment to protect the tube when inflated properly.

Available from Annapolis Yacht Sales.